Psychology Today defines burnout as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress,” and college students are one of the most burnt-out populations. Cornhuskin’ season creates added stress in the lives of Meredith students since they must divide their time between school, Cornhuskin’ events, extracurriculars and more. Practices range from three to four times a week and last from anywhere between 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. They become more frequent and lengthy as the event draws closer. This heavy level of commitment wears on all participants.
One such participant is Katie Thompson, a residential student. She was in both the group dances and skit for the junior class. For Katie, Cornhuskin’ season means staying up past 1 a.m. studying. However, she knows that the late nights are worth it when her class hits the amphitheater.
Commuter students have a different experience. Sophomore Madai Adaia Valle rides the bus an hour each way to get to Meredith every day. For her, attending dance practices requires staying with an on-campus friend. It helps that the dances are uploaded on Facebook, so she can keep up when she misses practice.
Given these challenges, both students agree that avoiding the burnout from Cornhuskin’ is all about budgeting your time. Katie suggests keeping a to-do list and a running calendar to stay on track. Similarly, Madai suggests prioritizing classwork and studying before going to Cornhuskin’ practices. It is also important to make time for yourself; this could include making a cup of tea, taking a short nap or listening to upbeat music.
Meredith’s professors have balancing acts of their own. Dr. Martinson, a professor of Political Science, does not believe any professor would purposefully increase their students’ workload around Cornhuskin’. However, they do have course objectives to meet and can’t just stop their classes, especially since Cornhuskin’ falls within the densest part of the semester. He also noted that many of the best students seem off during Cornhuskin’ week because of the burnout.
Cornhuskin’ is a beloved tradition at Meredith. Participants agree that although the burnout is difficult to manage, the memories and camaraderie it creates are worth it.
By Karli Keller, Contributing Writer, and Angela Cowo, Staff Writer